September 18, 2014

Too brilliant, too arrogant, too obsessed

Dropouts are nothing new to the Valley. Quite the opposite: The tech turk -- characteristically, someone too brilliant, too arrogant, too obsessed for the classroom -- is key to the Valley's creation myth and the stories it tells about itself.

Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Jerry Yang dropped out of graduate programs; Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg never even made it through college; and PayPal founder Peter Thiel doles out $100,000 to talented teenagers if they'll beg off college to work on something he finds brilliant. And businesses established and starting up both have long histories of poaching -- or rescuing -- ABDs. Sometimes even anthropologists.

September 15, 2014

Krugman ( even Krugman !) teaches econ 101

The big problem with economic policy is not, however, that conventional economics doesn't tell us what to do. In fact, the world would be in much better shape than it is if real-world policy had reflected the lessons of Econ 101. If we've made a hash of things -- and we have -- the fault lies not in our textbooks, but in ourselves.

September 9, 2014

Unbridled loathing means never having to say you're sorry.

Unbridled loathing means never having to say you're sorry.

The moral of the story here is that if you have the choice between losing JPMorgan billions of dollars and wounding a few egos by telling people that the banking experience is less than desirable, lose the billions - at least you won't have to give up any of your money.

September 1, 2014

Immersive course in the American way of life

Before arriving there as part of the big push, Brad Katsuyama had never laid eyes on Wall Street or New York City. It was his first immersive course in the American way of life, and he was instantly struck by how different it was from the Canadian version. "Everything was to excess," he says. "I met more offensive people in a year than I had in my entire life. People lived beyond their means, and the way they did it was by going into debt. That's what shocked me the most. Debt was a foreign concept in Canada. Debt was evil."